Bed Bug Identification
Adult bed bugs are typically flat with an oval shape and are about 3/16 inches long. They vary in color from brown to reddish brown. Bed bugs have six legs and four segmented antennae that are close to the same length as the front legs. Nymphs resemble adults but are paler and smaller. Bed bug eggs are white and roughly 1 millimeter long.
Bed Bug Education
Once thought to have been eliminated from North America, bed bug infestations have increased drastically in recent years due to higher levels of world travel. They are excellent “hitchhikers” and they are often carried into structures by humans.
A female bed bug lays one to five eggs per day and can lay a total of 200-500 eggs in her lifetime. After a female lays her eggs, the hatching nymphs go through five nymphal instars (transition phases) that require a blood meal for each. It takes a bed bug 21-120 days to develop into an adult. This all occurs on rough surfaces, generally close to the host, which is why bed bugs are often concentrated in and around beds, box springs, mattresses, nightstands, etc. Bed bugs are nocturnal in habit, which means most feeding occurs at night leaving the host with minor to severe irritation at the site of the bite. They are rarely seen moving about during the day.
Common signs of a bed bug infestation include:
- Blood stains on bedding
- Small reddish-brown fecal spots near harborages
- Egg casings and molt skins
- Active bed bugs
The key to elimination is a thorough inspection and professional bed bug treatment, along with conscientious customer cooperation.
How to Prepare for Bed Bug Treatment
- Bag and remove all clothing and bedding from the room and wash it with hot water and detergent (liquid detergent is best) or send out to be professionally dry cleaned.
- Inspect the mattress and box springs. If there are any holes or tears, then it is advisable to remove these items or obtain bedbug proof mattress and box-spring covers.
- Empty all furniture and closets.
- Vacuum all areas and have them as clear of clutter as possible to facilitate inspection and bed bug treatment.
- All cleaned personal possessions should be double bagged and stored in the treatment area. Items that are to be disposed of prior to treatment should be bagged and removed from the premises immediately.
Bed bugs can be extremely difficult to eliminate. While our program is successful in the majority of cases, severe infestations, especially in multiple dwelling units can take longer to completely exterminate. Our exterminators will discuss the extent of the infestation with you at the time of inspection and treatment so that you can have a better understanding of what to expect following the treatment. Depending on the size of the infestation, it may take more than one treatment to effectively exterminate all bed bugs.